Stage is set at home

Updated: May 15, 2020, 20:33 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

While performance groups and companies the world over release their productions for online viewing, city-based theatre makers pick the ones you should watch.

A scene from National Theatre's Antony and Cleopatra. Pics courtesy/Johan Persson and national theatre live
A scene from National Theatre's Antony and Cleopatra. Pics courtesy/Johan Persson and national theatre live

While it may not be possible to head to watch your local theatre venue come alive with stories and to experience the magic of a black box, theatre can still be a part of your life. Keeping in line with these times of social distancing, theatres the world over have taken to opening up their archives and screening plays for viewers. From National Theatre, London, to Broadway and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, there are several performances you can catch online. Here's what city theatrewallahs recommend.

Kallirroi Tziafeta, actor and teacher

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A Street Car Named Desire is one of my favourite plays and one that I use while teaching also, so I'd love to catch National Theatre's production of it. It is a play about a woman plagued by her conditioning. She believes a man will come as her saviour and all her efforts are driven into her looks. It was written at the height of racism in 1940s New Orleans but is still relevant. For me it is significant because we still live in a society that attaches a premium to a woman's appearance. We have not broken out of that mould. I also highly recommend Bruce Guthrie's Culture Diet for a collection of interesting theatre activities and podcasts.

Log on to National Theatre on YouTube

Zahan Kapoor, actor and director

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I watched Antony and Cleopatra live in London and recommend people watch it online. The National Theatre productions are great in quality and precision. I personally also want to catch A Street Car Named Desire and Coriolanus. I wasn't able to watch these shows live. The cast looks interesting and again, because it is National Theatre, you are guaranteed a certain standard. I watched a bit of Phantom of the Opera and Frankenstein; both are worthy picks.

Of course, there are certain limitations of the web medium but it is something we will all have to do to keep the form alive. It's incredible though that these theatres are sharing their work online. You should make the most of it.

Log on to National Theatre on YouTube

Sheena Khalid, actor and director

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I really enjoyed London-based Complicite Company's production, The Encounter. I've watched it online before. It is truly one of the most remarkable theatrical experiences I've had. It's a fantastic story told very well. It is also a production that works for everyone including those who aren't oriented in theatre. The genius of it is in the sound design, and you have to watch it with headphones. It uses a microphone which is like a human head. So, when the performer [Simon McBurney in this case] speaks on the left side, you can hear it in your left ear only.

I'd also recommend Broadway Live; it has a seven-day free trial and has interesting works to watch.

Log on to Complicite Company on YouTube

Sahil Ahuja, actor and director

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I really enjoyed National Theatre's Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch, but it is no longer available for viewing. I also watched Antony and Cleopatra but owing to the threehour-plus duration, it took more than one sitting. It is a commendable play; from the sets to the actors. The script and the execution are larger than life and you are left quite spellbound. It is a great experience to watch snakes and real guns on stage besides the the historical context.

A scene from Frankenstein
A scene from Frankenstein

Log on to National Theatre on YouTube

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